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Regarding the “Liberal Media”

December 15, 2009

I don’t always agree with Keith Olbermann — since the election last year he’s occasionally seemed a little unhinged. It’s not that he is sometimes “too liberal;” if anything, it’s that he sometimes lets his emotional reactions compromise his liberalism and make him say unreasonable things.

I recall one occasion when he essentially called for a limit on the Constitutional freedom of speech for the teabaggers, birthers, and other such vile creatures. While I was completely on board with Keith regarding the fact that they’re hateful, ignorant embarrassments to the conservative movement in particular and the human race in general, he lost me instantly when he implied that they should not be legally permitted to be hateful, ignorant embarrassments etc. Because they should. Because as awful as they are, giving the government the power to limit free expression of any idea is a slippery slope, and the visceral satisfaction of having people I disagree with silenced would not be worth the inevitable silencing of my own expression when the pendulum inevitably returns. Call it “Mutually Assured Discussion.”

And then there was when this went down. Olbermann went berserk, spearheading the accusations of racism that I honestly am not convinced were intended or even subconsciously inserted. The joke of the cartoon was that the stimulus plan was so poorly-written that it must’ve been written by a chimp. I don’t think at all that it was meant to cast aspersions on the actual writer(s) of the bill, and certainly not against the new black President. I’d be more likely to associate it with the “1000 typewriters for 1000 years” type of monkey than the “porch” type. It’s called satire, folks. When you see “it’s because he’s black!” under everything, you’re the racist. 

Still, among the available talking heads that aren’t Stewart and Colbert, Olbermann is still my preference — although I want to watch more of Maddow’s show. For one thing, he’s a liberal and, occasional lapses of irrational hypersensitivity aside, is usually reality-based. Compare this to Beck, Hannity, O’Reilly, etc, who will distort, dismiss, or outright fabricate information in order to form events to the predetermined version (though O’Reilly seems to have occasional lapses of rationality). Olbermann at least cites his sources.

Compare also to the fact that, again, he’s a liberal awash in a sea of conservatives — and unlike those conservative commentators, who like to pretend that they’re in some way “neutral,” he at least makes no bones about the fact that he’s coming at this from a liberal slant.

I’ve always been annoyed by the blanket references to the “liberal media,” because I really don’t know what the people who use the phrase are talking about. They seem to mean that entertainment is liberal — but the news media certainly isn’t. Conservatives like to say that conservatism doesn’t have a voice in the media because, I dunno, they have a persecution complex or something.

This claim is clearly false, but I’ve never quite had the motivation to piece together a response to it. But Olbermann — who again, I like because he does the research and cites his sources — did it for me.

From → politics, tv

3 Comments
  1. RE:should not be legally permitted to be hateful, ignorant embarrassments etc.

    That, by definition, would also encompass Olbermann. The pompous orator should be careful about what he wishes for as he may unwittingly include himself.

  2. As well as you , I did not see racism on the chimp joke.
    It is not of my taste either but I did not see what the drama was about.
    Had they used the word “signed” instead of “write” the bill then it would have been a different thing alltogether.
    Obama signed the billed, he did NOT write it, lawmakers did.
    Freedom of expression should not be restricted, then again freedom to sue by those who get offended should not be restricted either and finally freedom of both sides to spend money in lawyers to solve everything in court should not be restricted, hence America legal system.
    Freedom does not mean home free, freedom of speech does not mean that someone should not try to exercise some common sense before opening their mouth but I agree that can not be mandated ,that should be taught.

  3. Oh I forgot to add, is like italian-americans should be outraged to be portraid as violent. The cops certainly look italian-american to me !!. (Full disclosure: I am of italian decent).
    And I am amazed that PETA did not put a scream in tha air either !!

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